All Articles: Procedure
How to make a complaint to the Home Office
Bill Gates once said that your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. If the same applies to the Home Office staff who have the unenviable job of fielding complaints about their colleagues from irate migrants and their lawyers, t ...16th August 2023
A glitch or a feature? Systemic problems with digital proof of immigration status
Digital technology plays a central role in the ongoing reform of British borders after Brexit, and the 2019 launch of the EU Settlement Scheme was a pivotal moment in this transformation. The EUSS introduced an online-by-default process to apply for i ...31st July 2023
‘Minded to cancel’ process applies to dishonesty allegations at the UK border
A student whose leave was cancelled on arrival was wrongly denied the opportunity to comment on an allegation of falsified English language qualifications. So held the High Court in R (on the application of Tazeem) v Secretary of State for the Home De ...28th July 2023
Briefing: why and how is the Home Office treating more asylum claims as “withdrawn”?
The Home Office is increasingly treating asylum claims as being withdrawn. This seems to be a new policy intended to reduce the asylum backlog. The number of asylum decisions made by the Home Office at first glance appears to be increasing. When we lo ...26th July 2023
Upper Tribunal reminds parties to identify the issues in an appeal
Two new Upper Tribunal cases emphasise the importance of the parties to an immigration appeal identifying and addressing all the issues in dispute. Both the cases were decided by a panel that included Mr Justice Dove, the President of the Upper Tribun ...24th July 2023
Airport detainee wrongly denied a solicitor in immigration interview
A would-be student stopped on arrival in the UK was wrongly denied a solicitor in interview, the High Court has found in R (on the application of Kumar) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 1741 (Admin). The facts Mr Kumar arrived ...14th July 2023
OISC amends judicial review practice note to prevent advisers conducting litigation
The OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner) has again amended its guidance note on advisers conducting litigation in judicial review cases. The amendment appears to be with immediate effect, although the online version of the practice ...3rd July 2023
Preparing foreign language witness statements
How should we seek to comply with the rules relating to foreign language witness statements in litigation that are governed by the Civil Procedure Rules, including judicial review proceedings in the Administrative Court, and civil actions in the Kings ...14th June 2023
Briefing: what is the Common Travel Area and how does it work?
The common travel area enables passport-free and legal travel between the United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland), the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands for British and Irish citizens and migrants with lawful status. Onc ...12th June 2023
So-called mandatory grounds for refusal will not always be mandatory
On 1 December 2020, the Grounds for Refusal in Part 9 of the immigration rules were amended, providing the Home Office with a wider scope to refuse permission applications and cancel existing permission. They include stricter mandatory grounds of refu ...1st June 2023
New course: how to work with interpreters effectively
Immigration lawyers will occasionally, or in some cases frequently, take on a client whose level of English is limited. Or they may not speak any English at all. It’s crucial that lawyers understand their instructions and that clients understand the ...30th March 2023
A modest proposal for reforming the immigration system: shorten key immigration routes
The Home Office is not beloved as an institution. Some consider it necessary. But no-one likes it. That seems to include not just migrants and their families but also many of the civil servants at the Home Office itself, the lawyers and judges who int ...30th January 2023
Identifying litigation friends for vulnerable migrants
A person who lacks the requisite mental capacity to litigate in the tribunal or courts requires what is called a ‘litigation friend’ to conduct proceedings on their behalf. The role of a litigation friend is crucial in ensuring that indivi ...27th January 2023
“Upgrading” a visa application you have already made
Let’s say you made a normal application for settlement on the UK Ancestry route five months ago and you are still waiting for a decision. You receive word that a family member abroad is sick and you need to travel home urgently. There’s no option ...4th January 2023
Tribunal judges are now addressed as “judge” not “sir”, “madam” or “ma’am”
In a change to which some of us may struggle to adjust, tribunal judges are now to be addressed in court or correspondence as “judge” rather than “sir”, “madam” or (cringe) “ma’am”. So say the Lord ...5th December 2022
What is the duty of candour?
Regular readers of Free Movement will be aware of the recent judgment finding serious breaches of the duty of candour by the Home Office in the mobile phone seizures case. Jed Pennington has discussed the judgment in a previous post. But, what is the ...2nd December 2022
What happens at a First-tier Tribunal immigration appeal hearing?
For immigration lawyers, a First-tier Tribunal appeal hearing is a routine experience. It’s easy to forget how intimidating and stressful this moment can be for people appealing, many of whom have never set foot in a courtroom in their lives and who ...8th November 2022
How can Country Guidance cases be changed?
The outcome of an asylum case can sometimes depend not on what the individual person says happened to them but on the general situation in a particular country. The general situation for asylum seekers from several countries is determined by the Upper ...13th October 2022
Home Office to review policy on timing of applications after single father’s right to work limbo
The Home Office has agreed to review its policy Fee waiver: Human Rights-based and other specified applications, which provides guidance on the time limits for making human rights based immigration applications where an application is made after a fee ...12th October 2022
Leave to remain application date: how to calculate it and why it is important
You’ve left extending your visa until the last minute and are now in danger of missing the deadline. Does this matter and is there anything you can do about it? The answer to the first question is a resounding yes. Fortunately, in most cases, th ...12th October 2022
Employers take note: all change for right to work checks from 1 October 2022
When the pandemic first hit in March 2020 the Home Office was quick off the mark in allowing employers to conduct right to work checks remotely. Rather than having to meet job applicants and employees needing to renew their status in person, they were ...26th September 2022
The end of legal aid
Our anonymous contributor considers the non-availability of legal aid in the context of a recent Afghan case, and what the future holds for legally aided immigration advice. Sara was in Kabul when the Taliban entered the city. Her husband, Hassan, a B ...1st September 2022
Outgoing tribunal president criticises Home Office practice of drafting anonymous grounds of appeal
In Joseph (permission to appeal requirements)  UKUT 00218 (IAC), the appellant was a national of Trinidad and Tobago who had resided in the UK since 2007. She had a costs order of £400 made against her in 2014, following an unsuccessful judicia ...22nd August 2022
Abolition of police registration requirement for migrants announced
Earlier this month, the Home Office announced the abolition of the Police Registration Scheme. The scheme required certain foreign nationals to register with the police and keep them updated about important changes to their personal details. The aboli ...18th August 2022
Account Freezing Orders: what do immigration practitioners need to know?
When the footballer Mario Balotelli’s house was on fire, the first person he called was his agent. Who, quite predictably, told him to phone the fire brigade. As an immigration lawyer I have received less dramatic phone calls. Yet the story reson ...15th August 2022
No appeal against Upper Tribunal refusal to set aside its own decision
There is no right of appeal against a refusal by the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) to set aside a decision disposing of proceedings. So held the Court of Appeal in DJ (Pakistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWC ...5th August 2022
Is it time for a whistleblower visa?
Raising misconduct by or within your employer is a brave and difficult step. You put your financial security, your career and your well-being at risk for the greater good. Often the rewards are nil, if not negative. For migrants there is the additiona ...4th August 2022
How to persuade decision makers
How do you persuade a Home Office caseworker to grant your client’s asylum or immigration application? Or persuade a judge to allow your client’s appeal? The answer is: advocacy. Advocacy – whether written or oral – is the art of persuasion. I ...29th July 2022
Fee waivers: what can you do if you cannot afford to pay your immigration application fee?
Immigration applications are extremely expensive. Most requests for permission to stay in the UK (other than under the Points Based Immigration System) now cost £1,048. In addition, applicants may need to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge (£624 a ...12th July 2022